Taking Advantage Of The Opportunity

By Jeremy McDonald

jeremymcdonald73@gmail.com

SILVERTON, Ore—Head Coach Tal Wold was curious if Truitt Reilly didn’t get injured her freshman year, how she could have contributed to the Varsity squad back during the 2017-2018 season where Silverton went 22-6 overall and finished third at State.

Over the next two years, Reilly, Riley Traeger and Chole O’Connor were a three-headed monster in the post that helped lead the Foxes to Gill Coliseum those two years.  Growing into the role as a ‘true’ basketball player Wold said.

“We are really proud of her growth and how she has improved and developed in high school, but there is still so much there and she is hungry to continue to grow. Her attitude of compassion and being so easy to coach only leads you to project that she will keep getting better,” Wold said.  “She has always liked hoops, but now there is a passion flowing from her where she always wants to be in the gym. She is really becoming a true basketball player, not just a post so to speak.”

Wold expects the best from his players Reilly pointed, but the environment has always felt like a family that really counts the Senior post player said.

“It really has been special playing for Tal and the women’s basketball program at Silverton. We have always been a solid team, and have been pushed to be our best every season, but we’re even more of a family which is what truly matters. I think it will really help me at the next level, my coaches at Silverton consistently want what’s best for me and so do my coaches at the next level. I’m truly very lucky to have had the opportunity to be coached by Wold, (Paul) Pic(kerell), (Alyssa) Ogle, and (Hank) Ulven.”

Reilly running in the paint against West Albany February 4, 2020 (Picture By Jeremy McDonald)

With the development of her game, it was hard to believe that this past summer and Fall has been her first time playing in the AAU circuit.  Traveling to Utah, Idaho and Arizona with the Northwest Stars.  Clocking in roughly 20 games out-of-state.

It challenged her.  Tournaments have had really good teams and players that has challenged her physically as well as mentally thanks to that competition.

“There has been many challenges that go along with traveling for sure. I mean we go into these tournaments expecting really good teams, and so far, that’s what we’ve gotten. Mentally its intimidating and nerve wracking at times, but that’s when you tough it out. Physically, it’s definitely difficult go up against one strong team and then three more just as strong (or stronger.),” Reilly said.  “This season has really helped me become a well-rounded player, because it is my first year playing AAU, so I have learned so much just from the competition and the girls on my team.”

From a physical aspect, it taught her how to become more than just a post player.  It has helped her work on impacting her teammates and finding ways to make them better as well.  Mentally, her approach has changed towards the game as well as working on her leadership.

With how her Junior year ended just a day before their 5A State Semi-Final game with South Medford and the risks of playing, Reilly knows how luck she has been to even be out there right now playing.

Silverton went 23-3 and 15-1 in Mid-Willamette Conference in Reilly’s Junior Year, reaching Gill before the Pandemic canceled the remainder of the tournament after the Foxes Opening Round win over Ridgeview (Picture By Jeremy McDonald)

“The opportunity has been incredible, and honestly I’m super lucky to get to play. There is risk which goes with everything today, but it’s been a great opportunity,” Reilly said.  “Travel ball has helped me by giving me the opportunity to play against really good teams and players, where at the next level, there is going to be a lot of good competition.

“The mental side of the game at the next level is going to be more challenging, so working on my mental strength during the AAU games I have had has been one of my top priorities!”

Recently, Reilly made the announcement to continue her playing career at NCAA Division-II Western Washington in Bellingham, Washington.  A decision she made after the tough Summer and Fall she was involved with in terms of her recruiting process.

“I feel really lucky to have the opportunity to play at the next level next year. This summer I was having a pretty hard time not even knowing if I would have an AAU season or a high school season, which made my recruitment process very difficult. Angie Sun, my club coach, put in so much time helping me along the way, not only recruitment wise—but teaching me so many valuable lessons,” Reilly said.  “I am very grateful for her! I will continue to improve by training, knowing my strong suits, attacking my weak points, and getting stronger!”

Photos By Jeremy McDonald

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